Monday, May 10, 2010

Chic Safety: ila Dusk Review

 ila dusk alarms

I go to Clark University, located in the great, big city of Worcester, Massachusetts. Clark is located in one of the "worst" areas in Worcester: Main South. While I think a lot of the doom and gloom about Main South is based in suburbanite paranoia and lack of street smarts (well of course there's a likelihood you'll get mugged in any city walking around alone at 3 a.m. with your purse in plain sight!) I acknowledge that there is a certain danger to living in an urban area, especially for women. At my small school of 2000 students, it's not surprising when the University Police warn us of a mugging or an armed assault that's happened on campus or close to it. Most of us have become very conscious of making safe choices-- I don't walk around at night without my boyfriend, or at all if I can avoid it, and I definitely do not venture outside campus at certain hours-- but still, things happen.

And if they do, you want to be as prepared as possible.

That's where the ila Dusk comes in.

I read a review of the ila Dusk awhile ago on Gala Darling, and I was immediately taken with these little personal alarms. When Sophie, a representative from the company, saw my comment, she decided to be so kind as to send one my way.*

The ila Dusk is designed to emit a loud, piercing scream when you tug its cord out to activate it and scare the bejeesus out of your attacker. Research shows that screaming will also be more likely to get a response than the car-alarm-like sound most personal alarms make, according to its description at Handpicked Store. And how loud are we talking? 130 db-- about as loud as a Jet plane.

And just so you know, when you set it off, it will continue "screaming" for 8-10 minutes, unless you replace the pin quickly. It's not recommended you fool around with it too much, though. According to Sophie O'Gorman from the ila company,

"The product can be used more than once if you only take out the pin to show someone how it works or to test it and put the pin back in after a few seconds. The total duration of the scream is about 8 minutes, so if you take out the pin and don't put it back it it will scream for around 8 minutes and then you will need to replace your alarm."

I tried it out for a few seconds the other day and it's pretty darn loud. I definitely think if you set this off in front of an attacker, either the sound itself would definitely startle him, or the loudness would make him nervous that someone would come see what's up. There's a video of a British journalist trying the ila Dusk, so you can see what it sounds like. In her case, she seemed to be testing if someone would call for help or come to her rescue, but I personally don't think that's the alarm's main purpose. Rape alarms are supposed to create an escape opportunity, which I think it would do-- note how the alarm makes the reporter jump at one point. Now imagine shoving that in an unsuspecting person's ear.


Another great thing about the ila Dusk? It's adorable.

 Photobucket

It simply looks like a cute keychain, so no one will be any the wiser that you're carrying an alarm. I've gotten a few compliments on it, and anything that's useful and gets itself noticed in a positive way is awesome in my book. I'm in love with it.

Personally, I wouldn't rely on this as a sole method of protection. I think every woman should learn martial arts or take a self-defense class. While I do think this alarm could prove helpful, you have to take into account what happens if the attacker recovers quickly, you run and he is faster than you, help doesn't arrive, etc. This is awesome to have, and I feel safer carrying it, but I recognize it's only part of the personal safety picture. (I'd also recommend you carry this on hand in dangerous situations to prevent not being able to find it in your purse).

These lovely alarms have finally arrived stateside, and you can get one at The Handpicked Gift Store for an extremely reasonable $29.99! Those of you in the UK can purchase one at Marks & Spencer.
Head over to the ila website to check out other cool alarm options, including dog leashes and key rings. They even have an armband that fits your iPod and an ila POCKET alarm for safe jogging.

What are you waiting for? Go on!

* I was offered the ila Dusk for review. I received it for free. I was not given any money for this review. I was not told there were certain things I had to say about it-- other than where it's available-- nor was I required to give it a good review. I would not recommend the ila Dusk if I didn't like it.

7 comments:

amanda said...

These sound amazing. I want to get one for every woman I know.

I grew up in a pretty dicey neighbourhood and have found myself in some pretty frightening situations as a result (although nothing too dangerous, knock on wood. I used to carry some pepper spray, but I much prefer something like this. It's discreet, but definitely does the trick. Plus, I can use it and not have irritating chemicals blown back into my own face, thus hindering my escape.

amanda said...

I bet you thought I was done, didn't you.

Two (more) things:

1. Their product line looks AWESOME. I would love to have their wedge and/or shell. I travel a lot, sometimes alone and I would kill to have something that would keep me and my belongings safe. Hotel rooms freak me out.

2. I can't help but wonder about the efficacy of the ila alarms. Some negative, scared part of me is flooding my mind with visions of a really pissed off attacker grabbing my out-stretched arm and continuing the attack, only more aggressively now that I've put a very loud siren to his ear.
Food for thought.

selinaoolala said...

wow these are such a great idea. i'd love to take a self defense class but my uni didn't do them, how ridiculous!

Allison said...

Haha, love the cuteness factor-- all my friends joke that the particularly-shaped mace canister on my keychain looks like a dildo!

Mace and kenpo lessons, my recommendation.

Vanessa said...

Amanda: it's definitely food for thought-- I didn't think of that originally. The hope would be that he'd be disorientated for a moment and you could hopefully run away, but that's always a possibility it could anger him even more if your escape doesn't go off without a hitch.

Also, I'd like to add that since a lot of women feel more confident knowing they have a method of defense (whether it's knowing how to throw a punch, carrying an alarm/pepper spray) it makes them less likely to be targeted for an attack. Or at least that's what I hear. Makes sense to me.

rubybastille said...

So it's like...a scream grenade? That's brilliant.

elnajay said...

Thanks for the review! I'd seen these on Gala Darling as well and thought they looked like a really good idea...small and discreet enough that I might actually keep it on me. For comparison: my mother got me a little "keychain" thing of mace when I went off to undergrad. It's about six inches long and an inch and a half in diameter (though it has a keyring at the top!). I'm not going to be able to fit that in my pocket with my keys most of the time, which means I essentially don't carry it.

And I'll second the self-defense class idea. I took some a while ago, and it was really useful...you don't realize how challenging it can be to protect yourself from someone larger and stronger than yourself without any training.

(also, I didn't know you lived in Worcester!)

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